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Microsoft Gives Lifecycle Management Roadmap

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Microsoft officials announced an updated roadmap for Visual Studio’s (VS) Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) features, including a preview of a connector to link VS with the company’s System Center management tools during the opening keynote of its TechEd North America conference in Atlanta, Monday.

Additionally, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) showed off new client-side, cloud-computing capabilities coming later this year in the “Mango” release of Windows Phone 7 (WP7).

The disclosures and demos came at the company’s annual U.S. event for IT professionals and developers, with much of the focus on Microsoft’s burgeoning cloud computing initiatives.

“We expect, over time, that most of your workloads will run in the cloud, either public or private clouds,” Robert Wahbe, corporate vice president of Microsoft server and tools marketing, told the audience. To that end, the company is working to make it easier for developers, customers, and managers to communicate.

For example, Microsoft announced the immediate availability of a community technology preview (CTP) of a connector to link VS Team Foundation (VSTF) Server 2010 with System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2007 Release 2 (R2). The company plans to release the final connector within 30 to 60 days.

“The connector enables an operations team to send application performance monitoring and diagnostic information immediately to the engineering team,” a company statement said.

Jason Zander, corporate vice president for Visual Studio, also demonstrated new features coming to the next release of VSTF such as the ability for stakeholders and developers to mock up applications in PowerPoint by storyboarding.

Meanwhile, Wahbe demoed new development capabilities coming in the first major update to WP7, codenamed Mango and due out later this year. Officials said the new Mango development tools will be available later this month.

Those include the ability to impose information rights management (IRM) to protect companies from users forwarding proprietary information in emails.

Mango will also feature integration between WP7 and Microsoft’s pending Office 365 online services suite, including SharePoint online, Wahbe said.

One video even let Microsoft’s Kinect game sensor have the spotlight, showing a surgeon who could use the 3D sensor’s capabilities to manipulate a patient’s CAT scan without having to touch the computer, making it less likely to cause contamination of the surgeon’s hands while operating on the patient.


Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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